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Thread: Suicidal Lies - By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

  1. #1

    Suicidal Lies - By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    (This just tells Israeli people that you are not alone in your war).

    March 31, 2002

    Suicidal Lies


    The outcome of the war now under way between the Israelis and Palestinians is vital to the security of every American, and indeed, I believe, to all of civilization. Why? Quite simply because Palestinians are testing out a whole new form of warfare, using suicide bombers  strapped with dynamite and dressed as Israelis  to achieve their political aims. And it is working.

    Israelis are terrified. And Palestinians, although this strategy has wrecked their society, feel a rising sense of empowerment. They feel they finally have a weapon that creates a balance of power with Israel, and maybe, in their fantasies, can defeat Israel. As Ismail Haniya, a Hamas leader, said in The Washington Post, Palestinians have Israelis on the run now because they have found their weak spot. Jews, he said, "love life more than any other people, and they prefer not to die." So Palestinian suicide bombers are ideal for dealing with them. That is really sick.

    The world must understand that the Palestinians have not chosen suicide bombing out of "desperation" stemming from the Israeli occupation. That is a huge lie. Why? To begin with, a lot of other people in the world are desperate, yet they have not gone around strapping dynamite to themselves. More important, President Clinton offered the Palestinians a peace plan that could have ended their "desperate" occupation, and Yasir Arafat walked away. Still more important, the Palestinians have long had a tactical alternative to suicide: nonviolent resistance, ` la Gandhi. A nonviolent Palestinian movement appealing to the conscience of the Israeli silent majority would have delivered a Palestinian state 30 years ago, but they have rejected that strategy, too.

    The reason the Palestinians have not adopted these alternatives is because they actually want to win their independence in blood and fire. All they can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build. Have you ever heard Mr. Arafat talk about what sort of education system or economy he would prefer, what sort of constitution he wants? No, because Mr. Arafat is not interested in the content of a Palestinian state, only the contours.

    Let's be very clear: Palestinians have adopted suicide bombing as a strategic choice, not out of desperation. This threatens all civilization because if suicide bombing is allowed to work in Israel, then, like hijacking and airplane bombing, it will be copied and will eventually lead to a bomber strapped with a nuclear device threatening entire nations. That is why the whole world must see this Palestinian suicide strategy defeated.

    But how? This kind of terrorism can be curbed only by self-restraint and repudiation by the community itself. No foreign army can stop small groups ready to kill themselves. How do we produce that deterrence among Palestinians? First, Israel needs to deliver a military blow that clearly shows terror will not pay. Second, America needs to make clear that suicide bombing is not Israel's problem alone. To that end, the U.S. should declare that while it respects the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism, it will have no dealings with the Palestinian leadership as long as it tolerates suicide bombings. Further, we should make clear that Arab leaders whose media call suicide bombers "martyrs" aren't welcome in the U.S.

    Third, Israel must tell the Palestinian people that it is ready to resume talks where they left off with Mr. Clinton, before this intifada. Those talks were 90 percent of the way toward ending the occupation and creating a Palestinian state. Fourth, U.S. or NATO troops must guarantee any Israeli-Palestinian border.

    "The Spanish Civil War was the place where the major powers all tested out their new weapons before World War II," said the Israeli political theorist Yaron Ezrahi. "Well, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the Spanish Civil War for the 21st century. A big test is taking place of whether suicide terrorism can succeed as a strategy for liberation. It must be defeated, but that requires more than a military strategy."

    The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. If America, the only reality check left, doesn't use every ounce of energy to halt this madness and call it by its real name, then it will spread. The Devil is dancing in the Middle East, and he's dancing our way.

  2. #2
    Thanks Ezra for alerting us to this article.

    I'm very happy that Friedman is not adopting his sometimes-Arab-apologist role. The URL for this article is:

  3. #3
    Thomas Friedman has written alot of garbage leading up to moral equivalency.

    I'm glad to see he has finally come, more or less, to his senses. He is absolutely right that this war is the field test for whether suicide bombing will prosper or die out. He is absolutely right that all civilized nations should be supporting Israel in this battle if they want to avert a future in which every cause is fought by terror instead of persuasion.

    Who knows, maybe some others will also finally get it. I saw Shimon Peres on TV today supporting IDF actions for a change.

  4. #4
    I wouldnt trust Friedman at all. What a co-inky-dink- that after all those years of making excuses for the Palistinians he just happens to be in the office of the Saudi Prince and the Prince just happens to have a so called Peace his desk. Give us a break. This guy is some sort of Agent. Whose agent, we dont know.

    We have to watch this new emergence (not so new really) of Advocacy/Agent Journalists. We have seen this with Peter Arnet and Christiane Amapour and now Friedman.

    We know that CNN would like nothing better than to "uncover" a War Crime committed by Israel. IF they cant find one, will they CONTRUCT one? Dont be surprised if they do...or spin a story to suggest that Israel committed War Crimes.

    They certainly are putting stories on without any facts. So what if they are wrong, they know what is put on FIRST and most often, true or not true, is cemented in the memory of American Citizens.

    Right now they are working on two WAR CRIMES...the killing of UNARMED Pals. and the moving of hospital patients including a Boston Reporter while Israeli Soldiers searched a Hospital. They are going to work this angle until they come up with SOMETHING. Then that will be the HOOK for the US to stop supporting Israel..That will be the "you went too far" that SOME in American Government is waiting for.

  5. #5
    He's certainly not well-informed. The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka are the pioneers of suicide bombing. They've even sunk battleships (and killed an Indian prime minister) with this tactic.

    Whether the Palestinians would have gotten their state by appealing to the conscience of Israelis I don't know. I do know the American revolutionaries didn't waste much time in appealing to the conscience of the British. They preferred armed struggle.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by McSceptic
    He's certainly not well-informed. The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka are the pioneers of suicide bombing. They've even sunk battleships (and killed an Indian prime minister) with this tactic.

    Whether the Palestinians would have gotten their state by appealing to the conscience of Israelis I don't know. I do know the American revolutionaries didn't waste much time in appealing to the conscience of the British. They preferred armed struggle.
    You miss the point. Being the pioneers isn't the issue. It's the number and scale of such attacks. Most people don't know much about the Tamil Tigers. The whole world has been watching Palestinians blow up Israelis for months and months.

    You draw a parallel between "armed struggle" and suicide bombing attacks on civilians. This is a gross distortion. American revolutionaries didn't go to the UK and attack civilians. They fought the British army.

    Britain refused to give the colonies independence. Israel has offered the Palestinians independence. But as the PA's FM said in Lebanon, settling a million refugees inside Israel is more important to them than their own state.

  7. #7
    I was reading over the links that Flame posted on Black September. How close were the ties between Arafat and the Black September group?

    Also, how close was Arafat tied to the 1972 Olympics massacre? Was it a competing group to Arafat responsible?

    I am just wondering because I think most Americans, me included, really can see the evil involved in the 1972 acts and don't really understand what it was all about and who was responsible. Clearly innocient people were killed and those acts could be in no way be defended.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NewsGuy's Avatar
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    May 2001
    Los Angeles
    Originally posted by Gatorade
    Clearly innocent people were killed and those acts could be in no way be defended.
    As are the rest of the Palestinians inexcusable terrorist acts.

    The world watches the streets of Israel full of Israeli blood, injured children being rushed into ambulances, restaurants, buses, hotels demolished, full of innocent Israelis' body parts, and still the world excuses it and defends the Palestinians' "rights" to slaughter their Israeli victims.

    What I mean to say is that the world still defends acts that are indefensible, not because it is just, or fair, or makes sense, but for only one reason: No one really cares about the mass murder of Israelis when compared to getting oil from the Arabs.

  9. #9
    Gaterade: I may have misunderstood, but I heard that there is a direct link with Arafat and the Olympic Massacures.

    If not that...there are two tapes in Israeli and American Possession that have Arafat approving the murder of American Diplomats AND the murder of Leon Klinghoeffer (man in a wheelchair trown off the side of the ship Achille Lauro).

    He needs to be arrested for Murder. Period.

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